I’m sure many of you have heard of, used, or are currently using Honey, the extremely popular and reasonably effective browser extension that claims to work with thousands of stores and boasts of over 8 million users.
What is Honey?
According to its developers, “Honey is a free browser extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout for over 30,000 shopping sites. We also instantly find better prices on Amazon and offer Honey Gold at many stores for our U.S. members. Once Honey is installed, you will see the Honey icon in the top right corner turn orange on Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge when you’re on a shopping site that is supported by Honey.”
I’m sure you’ve probably heard the famous pizza story behind the foundation of Honey browser extension, which gives its origin an almost legendary quality. Be it real story or no, this is not my focus. I am here to explore into the mechanism of the Honey browser extension and to evaluate its efficacy in finding coupons and therefore fulfilling its promises of saving time and money for its users.
Does Honey work?
I want to try this out so I installed Honey and came to its homepage. I wanted to buy a wireless charger for my phone and knowing that honey works with many electronics vendors, I found the page for Spingen on Honey.
Not knowing if these codes would work, I clicked on the first one and was brought to this page while the original tab redirected to the Spigen website. This is more than I expected because I clicked on the coupon that was supposedly going to save me only $3.5. It seems that as long as there are better codes available Honey always gives it to you. Quite convenient, isn’t it?
I copied the code and went ahead to find my wireless charger.
I added it to my cart and proceed to check out.
Now is the time to see if this coupon code works.
An interesting thing happened. Even before I pasted the code in the box, there came a pop up right below the orange Honey icon in the top right corner of my browser. Telling me that 3 coupon codes had been found. I clicked “Apply Coupons” and came out this pop out.
I am beginning to rest assured, because I see that Honey is trying codes for me. This move is really smart as it visualizes the process of searching for coupon codes and trying them and so reassures users that things are working, and that all they have to do is to wait a bit. It took less than 2 seconds and came out this pop up, telling me that I saved $5.59.
I then proceed to checkout and prepared to enjoy the much-hoped-for discount.
Great! Indeed I have saved $5.99 on this order. That’s 15% on one order. I began to consider how much I’d save in the long term.
What about at other stores?
I then tried other stores such as PatPat and Avenue, and more often than not, I found valid codes for my purchases. Sometimes I got cash back in the form of Honey Gold credit (1000 Honey Gold equals to $10). I bought a blouse on Avenue and apart from $10 cash back that I knew I was going to get when claiming the Honey Gold, I got something very expected.
185.71 HKD saved! This is by far the best deal I got using Honey.
What about on Amazon?
With memory of success still fresh in my mind, I ventured to Amazon and was hoping to find some luck there. If Honey would be as successful with Amazon as with the other stores I’ve tried…I was beginning to calculate the amount of money that would be saved considering that I buy most things from Amazon.
I wanted to buy a Bluetooth speaker so I went to Honey and searched Amazon to look for coupons and was brought to this page.
I clicked on the first coupon and there came a pop up.
I knew that Honey would find coupons for me as I browse Amazon but I copied the code anyway. I then headed to Amazon and chose one Bluetooth speaker.
Honey told me that this was the best deal. Not willing to give up though, I proceed to checkout anyways.
Honey then showed me this pop up, telling me that the chance of finding a code is low. But still remembering the sweet experiences of saving a ton at other stores, I am resolved to check this out till the end. I tried anyway.
Okay, Honey was looking for codes.
I still didn’t give up. So I clicked “Try 40 more coupons”. I am daunted.
I tried the last push and continued to checkout. I wanted to past the code that I copied in the beginning to see if there should be a miracle because I was going to go manual.
The code was not valid. I then went back and tried a couple more codes on a couple more Bluetooth speakers, but none of them worked! This was astounding! I would have thought Honey was lying about its capabilities and benefits if not for the memorable successes I had with it on other stores.
Later I consulted one friend of mine who has been in the coupon industry for years and he told that “There is no such thing as ‘universal codes’ on Amazon, because each vendor issues their own coupon codes”. I figured the code that I copied from Honey might work for just one item while I was trying to use it for another. It’s apparent that Honey does not work with individual sellers who would then require brand exposure which would make this “universal codes” claim impossible by nature. Since there is no way I could know which item each code is for, copying codes from Honey does not make any sense and I could only wish that Honey would find me some codes while I browse through Amazon. Those are scanty, I have to say.
If you are a frequent customer at stores like Avenue, Spigen, or even Pizzahut, then Honey is the perfect coupon aggregator because it does have plenty of coupon codes from these stores and will save you time and money as promised. However, if you buy heavily on Amazon, it won’t yield you much satisfaction.